VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday,10th October, 2017. Page 1 -- 9.
Mr Speaker, page 9, item numbered 7 (iii): “The following Question was not asked of the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources”. That is Question numbered *175 on the Order Paper. I am not sure whether this Statement captures what transpired on the floor of the House. The reason is that, inadvertently, the Hon Minister had provided an Answer to that Question, and while we were on the Urgent Question filed by the Hon Member, we said that the line he was pursuing led to the Answer of Question *175; but then it was allowed of him to proceed. So, in substance, this Question was answered by the Hon Minister. So, I do not know whether the Question which was not asked would satisfy what indeed transpired on the floor of the House.
If they may correct this simply as follows:
Mr Speaker, page 10. I am aware that, you allowed two Hon Members to make a Statement on the World Mental Health Day. Sequentially, it was Hon Dr Bernard Okoe Boye who made the Statement, and you allowed Hon Dr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem to follow-up with another commemorative Statement. I would ask that we capture it chronologically, as they happened on the floor.
That is very correct. It would be done accordingly. Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, on the same page 10, I should also believe that in respect of the gas explosion, there was a
Thank you very much. That is very correct. The Hon Member was so gracious that he left the earlier part of his written Statement and went on with the latter part to save us all time, and the Hansard must capture the fullness of that Statement. Page 14 -- Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, permit me to take you and the House back to page 10 and to seek your guidance on the correct spelling of “recurrence” of such disasters. It is not the word “reoccurrence” as it is put there. Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance; should it not be without the “o”?
The Hansard Department should take note accordingly. Yes, page 14 --
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I was here yesterday, but my name is part of the list of absentees, and I wish the Table Office takes notice of it. Page 14 … 17.
Mr Speaker, I thank you. On page 17, in the spelling of my name “Annoh”, the last letter is supposed to be “h” and not “r”.
Page 18 … 19. The Votes and Proceedings of T u e s d a y , 1 0 th October, 2017 as corrected are hereby adopted as true record of proceedings. The Official Report of Thursday, 5th October, 2017. Hon Members, any corrections?
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I was just looking for my Order Paper for yesterday. I am not too sure that on page 15 of the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 10 th October, 2017, the amendment captured as item numbered 6 indeed is what I moved. It looks like a word is missing, looking at my own file.
Hon Majority Leader, are you referring to the Votes and Proceedings?
Mr Speaker, yes. I am referring to page 15 of the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Speaker, I said that on the amendment I moved in respect of clause 2, captured as item numbered 6, it looks like there is a word missing. “(ii) private sector investment achieve maximum development impacts to reduce poverty and deprivation in every part of the zone.”
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, since he is the Leader of the House, we expect that he demonstrates religious respect to the rules. You have declared that the Votes and Proceedings is accordingly adopted. I am sure along the line, momentarily, he lapsed in following through the pages. I am sure he could be forgiven because of other matters. Mr Speaker, he is very right. Yesterday, this was not the rendition as he moved. Indeed, I recall contributing to the debate and expressing concern about the use of the expression, “private sector investment achieve”. I questioned how one could achieve private sector investment. So, I am sure as he has rightly pointed out, he would liaise with the Table Office and the appropriate rendition captured. The final recommendation, which leads this House to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, would capture the position of the House on the particular clause.
Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, one must be very diligent in these amendments. Otherwise, as it turns out, sometimes, the incorrect rendition is captured and finds expression in the law. Mr Speaker, you would remember what happened in the University of Ghana Act, which gave us some problems; trying to correct it after the President has assented to the wrong things. So, we need to be very meticulous in these matters. Mr Speaker, I have crosschecked. For the fact that I introduced the word “to” between the words “investment” and “achieve”, I believe, I withdrew. What is missing is the pluralisation of the word “investment”. It should have read, “private sector investments” and not “private sector investment”.
All right. Thank you very much, Hon Leaders. For the avoidance of any difficulty, we would soon come to the Consideration Stage again. You know that at that stage, there is absolute flexibility on the part of the House. Therefore, we would leave it as it stands now and, if you would kindly bring this up at the Consideration Stage, the House would have the opportunity to put finality to any area of doubt.
Hon Members, item numbered 3 on the Order Paper -- Questions. Hon Minister for Energy, if you would kindly take the position allocated to you. Hon Members, we have a lot of Business here today. We have a number of Questions that are constituency specific. We would therefore limit Questions to the Hon Members who filed them. We have all agreed on that; both sides of the House. Hon Members, Question numbered 53 on the Order Paper -- Hon Member for Lower Manya Krobo?
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF ENERGY
Yes, Hon Minister? You could have asked him this in private.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, Oborpa West, Oborpa East, Jeketi and Yonguase form part of the Ministry's Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-4) in the Eastern Region. 238. High Voltage (HV) and 175 Low Voltage (LV) poles have been supplied to these project sites. Pole planting is currently ongoing. Upon completion of pole planting, pole-top accessories will be released to the contractor for installation. The projects in these communities have been scheduled for completion by end of 1st Quarter, 2018. Mr Speaker, the remaining communities namely, Odorkom, Tlepom, Nanase, Popotia, Ayemersu and Gortsonya communities do not form part of any of the Ministry's ongoing electrification projects. These communities have, therefore, been captured for inclusion in future electrification projects.
Thank you very much. Hon Member, would you want to ask a follow-up question or you would want to ask the next Question?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has given the indication that Odokom and the rest of the communities will be considered in future. I would be very glad if he could give me an indication of when -- Could he give me some assurance? After the first quarter, when? Otherwise, I am alright with the Answer.
Mr Speaker, the Government attaches very serious importance to the Rural Electrification Project and we will make every effort to make sure that we complete the projects that are on hand. We would also expand them beyond the current 84 per cent. Mr Speaker, since I would not want to hazard a prophecy into the future, I would assure the Hon Member that because of the importance that we attach to it, I will make sure that as soon as funds become available or as soon as the other accessories become available, we will prosecute that agenda with some vigour.
Thank you very much. Yes, Hon Member for Damongo? Is the Hon Member not here? Yes, Hon Member for Pusiga?
Mr Speaker, Latega, Ninkogo and Pialoko communities were captured under the electrification of selected communities in the Upper East region, executed by Tengashep (Pty) Ghana Limited. Owing to shortage of materials, the works could not be completed in the above communities. The Ministry of Energy is in the process of securing funds to complete works in the communities. Balungu, Dabia, Sugudi, Zuabulga, Kampodi and Tambiigu communities form part of the on-going Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-5) is currently being implemented by the Ministry. The projects are at different stages of completion. Mr Speaker, High Voltage (HV) poles have been planted and strung at Balungu, Dabia, Sugudi, Tambiigu and Zuabulga with transformers mounted. Low Voltage (LV) poles have also been planted and dressed in the communities, awaiting stringing. In the Kampodi community, HV and LV poles have been delivered but yet to be erected. The delays associated with the completion of works are due to shortage of some electrical materials. The Ministry is in the process of procuring these materials to allow for the completion of works. The project in the above communities have been scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2018. Mr Speaker, the remaining communities namely Kolpelugu, Bulnatenga, Vodkuom, Zongnatenga and Tendanatenga do not form part of any of the on-going electrification projects being undertaken by the Ministry. The communities have been noted and would be considered for future electrification projects.
Thank you, Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, based on the response of the Hon Minister, taking a cue from the first paragraph where he stated that the Ministry of Energy is in the process of securing funds to complete work in the communities -- He also said same for the Kolepelugu area; in the second two paragraphs, he mentions them but he never stated whether funds would be secured and the projects would be continued and completed. Mr Speaker, I would therefore wish to find out from the Hon Minister, if his first and fourth responses apply to those other communities and for that matter, whether there would be funds, so that those projects would be continued and completed? Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you very much, Hon Member. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, the Tengashep project covers all of the areas under consideration. Mr Speaker, the quest to secure funds therefore covers the entirety of the project, and it would not be on a selective basis. I would want to assure the Hon Member that these funds we seek are to complete the entirety of the Tengashep Project, and not on selected community basis.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, on the last paragraph of the Hon Minister's response, he stated that the remaining communities, namely Kolpelugu, Bulnatenga, Vodkuom, Zongnatenga and Tendanatenga do not form part of any of the ongoing electrification projects being undertaken by the Ministry. He also went on to say that the communities have been noted and would be considered for future electrification projects. Mr Speaker, just for his information and for me to seek a response from him, I wish to inform the Hon Minister that these communities are actually part of the projects that have already been undertaken; some of them are almost completed under the Tengashep project. Tendanatenga, which partially has been linked up to the national grid, has been given only ten metres to start with. Mr Speaker, I would wish that the Hon Minister kindly uses his good office and talk to --
Hon Member, you are now making a statement on what you wish.
Mr Speaker, I therefore wish that the Hon Minister assures me that he would get in touch with Tengashep for these communities to be worked on and completed. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Minister, she would want an assurance.
Mr Speaker, we are currently engaged with Tengashep in discussions to complete a term sheet for the funding. I can assure the Hon Member that as and when the Ministry of Finance signs off on the term sheet and the funds become available, we would complete the project. Mr Speaker, with the last point she raised about some of the towns in the last paragraph not being done, it would be necessary to do a reconciliation of communities in order to ensure that there are no overlaps or slippages through any of them.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister. Hon Member for Tamale North? Completion of SHEPS Project in Nyanshegu, Wovo Guma, Kalpohin rural and Kanvilli Kpawomo communities Q.92. Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu asked the Minister for Energy what was currently withholding the completion of Rural Electrification Projects under SHEP 5 in the following communities: (i) Nyanshegu (ii) Wovo Guma (iii) Kalpohin rural (iv) Kanvilli Kpawomo.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, Nyanshegu, Wovo Guma, Kalpohin Rural and Kanvilli Kpawomo communities in the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly form part of the Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-5 ) being executed by the Ministry of Energy. All High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) poles for the project have been sent to the various communities. HV network construction has been completed at
Thank you very much, Hon Minister. Yes, Hon Member, any follow up?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister in his response in the last paragraph states and I beg to quote: “Arrangements have been made to replenish the stock of these materials to enable works to be completed by the end of December, 2017”. Mr Speaker, we are in October, and we have just a month to December. Mr Speaker, I would want to know whether the Hon Minister could be specific on when the stores would be replenished so that these communities could be assured that they would have the materials that would ensure that the project would be completed before the end of December this year.
Mr Speaker, if my reckoning is right, then we have two and a half months to the promised deadline of end of December, 2017. Mr Speaker, we are replenishing the Tamale stores with stay blocks and some pull top accessories, and the Hon Member must be rest assured that, as indicated by the end of December, we would replenish and complete the projects in the said communities.
Hon Member, your last one.
Thank you, once again, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to know whether the Hon Minister, given the fact that some Assembly members of the named communities are in the gallery, accepts a suggestion or considers same to hold officers responsible, sanction same or take personal responsibility, if by the end of December these communities still do not have the work done as promised.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, the predicate to the request is a little bit lost on me. If it is to play to the gallery, then there is no precedence to it. Mr Speaker, this is serious business, to which I do not want to lend myself to playing to the gallery; but I would want to assure the Hon Member that, it is in our interest and his interest to make sure that the projects are completed so that our citizens would be at peace. So, I would give him the assurance directly and not to the gallery.
Thank you very much.
Hon Member for Akan? Connection of i) Wawaboi ii) Asatomensuo etc. Communities to the National Grid Mr Abdul Aziz Muniru asked the Minister for Energy when the Ministry would connect the following communities to the national grid: (i) Wawaboi (ii) Asato- Menuso (iii) Besease (iv) Butabe (v) Dika (vi) Brafoso/Brafoano (vii) Todome (viii) Pillar 83 (ix) Bolo-Nkwanta (x) Berkpo (xi) Dodo-Bethel (xii) Kponkpa (xiii) Aboabo (xiv) Asuboe (xv) Tinteanyo (xvi) Dompa (xvii) Okrakrom (xviii) Olobombi.
Mr Speaker, Wawaboi, Asato-Menuso, Besease, Butabe, Dika, Brafoso/Brafoano, Todome, Pillar 83, Bolo-Nkwanta, Berkpo, Dodo-Bethel, Kponkpa, Aboabo, Asuboe, Tinteanyo, Dompa, Okrakrom and Olobombi communities do not form part of any of the ongoing projects currently being executed by the Ministry of Energy. However, these communities have been noted and would be considered in subsequent electrification projects.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister indicated in his Answer that the communities in question do not currently form part of any ongoing projects and would be considered in subsequent electrification projects. I would want to know when subsequent electrification projects would begin and when the Hon Minister would constitute a team for a recognisance and feasibility studies in these communities?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Energy has and continues to conducted surveys and continues to do so on rural electrification to identify communities that need to be included in the programme. We are committed to universal rural electrification by 2030, according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to our own programmes, we are trying to make sure that by 2020, our communities receive electricity. So the surveys are ongoing. That is why it becomes possible for us to say which communities can be captured at what times. Mr Speaker, I would have a little bit of difficulty to be futuristic and name a specific drop dead time for implementation. The only assurance I would give is on the basis that we are committed to full rural electrification and we would do our utmost to fulfil that commitment.
Final question if any. Hon Member, are you satisfied?
Mr Speaker, I rise to seek your indulgence for you to permit the Hon Member for Damongo, who came in rather late, to ask Question numbered 54 on the Order Paper.
We would want Hon Members to be punctual. His time is lost. Those of you who are lawyers know what happens to people who come late to the court and want to move their Motions. I have already indicated that we are operating against time this morning. Please take the cue and let us move on. At our pre-Sitting meeting, this was thoroughly discussed. Hon Minister, you are now discharged. Thank you for attending to the House and answering our Questions. Thank you very much.
Hon Member, your time is lost. I will not move forward and backwards in this House, please. Hon Members, we will skip the item numbered 4 as we previously agreed at the pre-Sitting meeting. At the Commencement of Public Business, item numbered 5 -- Presentation of Papers. The following Papers to be presented -- Hon Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, the Committee is still in consultation and so the Report cannot be ready today for laying. So, we would stand it down until when the Committee is ready with the Report.
Is item numbered 6 on the Order Paper ready? Is the Hon Minister ready to move it? Hon Minister for Special Development Initiatives -- Coastal Belt Development Authority Bill. Hon Majority Leader, can we take the item numbered 6 -- Motion?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has an engagement with the President as I speak and I would want to move the Motion numbered as item 6 on the Order Paper on behalf of the Minister for Special Development Initiatives subject to the indulgence of Mr Speaker and that of my Hon Colleagues.
You may so do.
Thank you very much.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. Question proposed.
Hon Chairman, let Hansard capture the fullness of your Report and just give us the summation.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful and I take a cue. Mr Speaker, I beg to rise to present your Committee's Report; Introduction The Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017, was presented to Parliament and read the First time on 31st July 2017. In line with article 106 (4) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 184 of the Standing Orders of the House, the Mr Speaker referred the Bill to the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises for consideration and report. Deliberation The Committee held a stakeholder meeting in Accra to seek inputs on the Bill from participants from the Greater Accra, Volta, Central and Western Regions. Subsequently, the Committee organised a three-day meeting to consider the Bill clause by clause.
Authority to tailor its programmes to suit the needs of the different circumstances of the different belts within the Zone. Conclusion The establishment of the Coastal Development Authority will provide the impetus for accelerated development of the Coastal Zone. The infrastructural programmes that the Authority is expected to implement, coupled with the stimulation of indigenous investments, will lead to job creation, improvements in the lives of the people and general reduction of poverty in the communities. The Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises therefore, recommends that the House adopts its Report on the Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017, subject to the proposed amendments in the appendix. Proposed Amendments Clause 1 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (3), line 1, insert “a” before “hindrance”. Clause 2-- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (ii), line 2, after “each” insert “District or”. Clause 2 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (d), line 1, delete “formulate and”. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (b), line 1, delete “and institutions”. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (g), line 1, delete “execute identified” and insert “ensure the execution of'. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (g), line 3, after “of' insert “the fishing industry,” and in line 4, after “farmers” insert “fishermen”. Also on the same line 4, after “through” delete “irrigation”. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (1), line 3, after “Agencies” insert “Regional Cordinating Councils,”. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (n), line 1, delete “serve as an agent of the Government in” and insert “facilitate”. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (p), line 2, after “targets”, insert “are met”; and before “in” delete “met” and insert “achieved” Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (r), delete entire paragraph. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (s), delete entire paragraph. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), paragraph (a), delete “nominated by the President”. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), paragraph (c), line 1, after “representative” insert “each”, and in lines 1 and 2, delete “in the Northern Development Zone”. Also in line 2, before “Regional House of Chiefs, insert “respective”. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), paragraph (d), line 1, delete “of' and insert “responsible for”. Clause 4 --Amendment proposed -- insert a new paragraph after paragraph (d) as follows: “one person from the Ministry responsible for Special Develop- ment Initiatives”. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (h), line 1, delete “six” and insert “two”, and in line 2, after “least”, delete “two” and insert “one”. Also in the same line 2, after “whom” delete “are” and insert “is”. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (3), delete entire subclause (3) and insert “The President shall in appointing a member of the Board have regard to the member's integrity, know- ledge, expertise and experience in matters relevant to the objects and functions of the Authority”. Clause 5 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), paragraph (f), line 1, delete “and strategies”. Clause 8 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (3), line 1, after “is” delete “eight” and insert “seven”. Clause 8 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (4), line 2, after “Board” insert “other than the Chief Executive”. Clause 10 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), line 2, after “Board” delete “or” and insert “and”, after “non- members” delete “or both”. Clause 10 -- Amendment proposed -- insert a new subclause after subclause (1) as follows: “A committee of the Board shall be chaired by a member of the Board”. Clause 14 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), line 3, after “relieved”, delete “from” and insert “of'. Clause 19 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (b), line 1, after “moneys” delete “from” and insert “allocated for”, and in line 2, delete “project” and insert “Programme”. Clause 19 -- Amendment proposed -- paragraph (i), before “internally” insert “any other”. Clause 23 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), lines 1 and 2, delete the words “duties, fees, and other charges”. Clause 23 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), lines 2 and 3, delete “or variation of tax to” and insert “duties, fees other charges payable by”. Clause 23 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (3), delete entire subclause. Clause 26 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), paragraph (b), delete paragraph (b) and insert “a performance report”. Clause 26 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), paragraph (c), delete entire paragraph (c). Clause 26 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), paragraph (e), delete entire paragraph (e). Clause 26 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (2), paragraph (f), delete entire sub-paragraph (iv) and insert “the cost of project executed by the Authority”. Clause 27 -- Amendment proposed -- Headnote, delete “for private sector”. Clause 27 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), line 1, after ‘Authority' delete “shall grant and extend incentives to the private sector” and insert “may extend support to the private sector, public sector”. Clause 28 -- Amendment proposed -- subclause (1), line 1, after “Authority” delete “may” and insert “shall”.
Thank you very much. Question proposed.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the Report. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would want to make references to portions of the Report and under 7.2; “The Committee also noted that the Coastal Development Authority would support the developmental role of the District Assemblies. In this regard, the Bill makes it mandatory for the Authority to co- operate with key statutory institutions…”. Mr Speaker, it is very pertinent that in looking at this Bill, we focus on the possible pitfalls that befell some previous Authorities as witnessed in this country. It is for this reason that it is very critical that we avoid duplications and put in place mechanisms to ensure -- This is because it is clear that some of the activities that this Authority would perform are closely related to the functions that some entities are already performing. Entities such as the District Assemblies. Mr Speaker, it is in this direction that it would be necessary to have an inter- coordinating committee at the ministerial level, to allow the Minister responsible for this Authority to get some value addition from other ministries in order to avoid turf wars that could possibly ensue. One of the issues that came out when we went on the stakeholders' conference around the country, was the issue of the name, Coastal Development Authority. This is an Authority that covers the whole
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion. Mr Speaker, this House has already looked at the Northern Development Authority Bill and the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill. The Coastal Development Authority Bill is not different from the previous ones that we have already looked at. Mr Speaker, it is an undeniable fact that the two previous ones seemed to isolate the development of the four regions that constitute the coastal regions of Ghana. They all seem to enhance and accelerate the development of these four regions.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to comment on the Report of the Committee which deals with the Coastal Development Authority Bill. Mr Speaker, the object of the Bill is laudable. We need a development vehicle such as an Authority to drive the development agenda of the coastal areas. However, I see two main challenges with this Bill. The first challenge has to do with the geographical coverage. Mr Speaker, for the Coastal Development Authority, there has been no precedence on this scale, unlike what is in the northern part of the country, where we have the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), which is the precursor of the Northern Development Authority. The closest we have in the southern part of the country is the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM), which is a development corporation for the Central Region, which was brought about as a result of the Ghana Living Standards Survey result that showed that, the coastal communities especially, in the Central Region were very poor and that was why CEDECOM was put in place -- but it covers a smaller area than the geographical area that has been proposed under the Bill. It is for this reason that we need to tread cautiously. Mr Speaker, my first challenge with the Bill has to do with the use of words and terminologies. Mr Speaker, under the Interpretation column of the Bill, it says that and with your permission, I beg to quote: “Coastal Development Zone” means the Greater Accra Region, the Central Region, the Western Region and the Volta Region;” Mr Speaker, my understanding of the word “coast” is, a certain distance from the seashore -- and that forms the coastal zone. Mr Speaker, in the Motion, the word “belt” was introduced, but that word is not part of the Bill. So, I believe it is an attempt to define the geographical coverage of the Coastal Development Authority and that was why some of these words were used. Mr Speaker, it is not clear as to whether the entirety of the Volta Region, the Central Region and the Western Region would be covered under this Development Authority. If it were so, then a place like Kete Krachie, which we know is far north than Kintampo, Yapei and Buipe cannot be easily considered as part of the Coastal Development Authority. In my mind, places like Nkwanta and Asankragua in the Western Region cannot easily be considered as part of the Coastal Development Authority. So, it is either the use of the word “Coastal” is wrong or we would need to redefine which parts of these regions should form the Coastal Development Authority. Mr Speaker, if we are not able to sort this out clearly, we would run a risk of some parts of these regions falling out of the development agenda. It is possible that during implementa- tion, the definition of the coastal zone may not include Ho, Hohoe, and Asangrakwa yet, these areas are also not part of the Middle Belt Development Authority and neither are they part of the Northern Development Authority and that is the challenge I see with the Coastal Development Authority Bill. Mr Speaker, the other issue has to do with the diversity of the coastal area. The coastal area is about 550 km from Aflao all the way to Half Assin, but it is not an area that has a uniform vegetation and rainfall. The eastern part of the shoreline is mainly savannah vegetation which has large water bodies for fishing. The rainfall is below 600 mm per year and as it moves towards Accra and continues towards Cape Coast to Takoradi, it turns into a semi- deciduous forest vegetation. Mr Speaker, one could see that there are two main agro-ecological zones which are encompassed by the Coastal Development Authority and this requires quite an effort from the Development Authority to plan development pro- grammes to suit the needs of each of these areas of the country. Mr Speaker, the only common things I see is that, they are all subject to sea erosion along the coast and the fishermen along the coasts are poor. Apart from that, there are differences which the Development Authority need to contend with. Mr Speaker, it is my view that two main laws that have been passed in Parliament could be of help. In the Committee's Report, I did not see a reference to these laws. One, is Act 480 of 1994, the Planning Systems Act of the National Development Planning Commission which is very relevant to the implementation of a Development Authority which covers such a varied area as we have in the Coastal Development Authority.
Hon Member, please, conclude.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw attention to other institutions and agencies in the area that have been doing useful work on development which could be used by the Development Authority. One of them is the Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate change; Migration and Adaptation Project (DECCMA) by the University of Ghana, Legon. They have studied the whole Volta Basin, the whole Volta estuary and have reports and results that could easily be used by the Coastal Development Authority. Mr Speaker, with these few comments, I would want to associate myself fully with the Report.
Hon Member, thank you very much. Minority Leadership, do you have any comments or contributions?
Mr Speaker, I can understand your position as you advised during the pre-sitting, but I would want to yield to Hon Benjamin Kpodo to have his contribution on this matter, which I believe could represent the Leadership position. Mr Speaker, if I had my way, the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee would still wrap up, but we are at your behest as you wish. I would not contribute to this particular Motion, but yield it to Hon Benjamin Kpodo.
The Leadership contribution is yielded to Hon Benjamin Kpodo. Hon Kpodo, you may proceed.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute. First of all, I want us to look at what was laid before the House for consideration. If we take the Bill, titled, Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017, we would find that the Memorandum is a copy of the other Bills earlier laid before the House, which is the Northern Development Authority Bill, and the Middle Belt Development Authority Bill. Mr Speaker, more seriously, when we open to page ii, of the heading for the Coastal Development Bill is, Northern Develop-ment Authority Bill, 2017 — If we look at page iii of the Bill, it is also indicated there as Northern Development Bill. Mr Speaker, the first paragraph on page ii of the Coastal Development Bill gives authority to the Northern Development Bill to implement programmes in the Coastal Development area — [Interruption.]-- Mr Speaker, there are issues of development in the northern zone, in the middle belt as well as in the so-called coastal belt.
Mr Speaker, the Bill states that there is disparity in the zones but their main source of fund is the same. And so how do we expect this to be bridged? Are we going to tell the coastal and the middle belt zones to develop at a smaller pace so that the northern zone could catch up with them? Is that what we are going to do? The source is the same for all the constituencies listed in the zones. Mr Speaker, my Hon Senior Colleague has already made reference to the peculiarities of the Volta Region. I have the map of Ghana here — [Hear! Hear!] — and the Volta Region is to the extreme right and its colour is amber. This region spans the three development zones. We have Kete Krachi and Nkwanta areas in the northern zone and in the middle, we have areas like Jasikan and Kadjebi also in the middle belt and we have Keta, Anloga and Aflao, et cetera, in the coastal zone. Mr Speaker, I really want to recommend to the Hon Minister for these special initiatives to redefine the coastal zone when we reach the Consideration Stage. In doing so, to take the whole Volta Region apart and then create another development zone, which may be called, Trans-Volta Authority Zone — [Hear! Hear!] so that that can take care of the Volta Region which spans the three development zones. Mr Speaker, I believe the corrections should be made if they have not already been made, and the rearrangement of the various belts should be done before the Bill goes for final approval. Mr Speaker, we are referring to constituencies, and the moneys are meant for constituencies and not for the District Assemblies. The question is, who would be in charge of the disbursement of these funds? Is it going to be heavily left with the Boards of the various Authorities which would definitely be populated with partisan officials? Mr Speaker, I believe these issues have to be properly addressed as we go into the Consideration Stage of the Bill. Nevertheless, I support the Bill for the Coastal Belt Development Authority, except that we should add a fourth one which would take care of the peculiarities of the Volta Region.
Mr Speaker, may I thank Hon Colleagues for the various contributions that they have made to enrich the Bill. Mr Speaker, the first person who made his contribution after the Hon Chairman had presented the Report of the Committee related to the independence of the Board, that attention should be paid to who constitute the Boards so that we would take it away from the control of the President, which in his opinion, may necessarily lead to crowding the Authority with party faithfuls. Mr Speaker, I believe the concern of the Hon Member is taken care of in clause 4 of the Bill. The Governing body of the Authority is defined there.
“(b) one person from the National Development Planning Com- mission not below the rank of a Director; (c) one representative of traditional authorities in the Coastal Development Zone nominated by the Regional House of Chiefs in the Coastal Development Zone; MR KYEI-MENSAH-BONSU] [MR KYEI-MENSAH-BONSU] (d) one person from the Ministry of Finance not below the rank of a Director; (e) one person from civil society organisation in the Coastal Development Zone; (f) one person from private sector organisations;” Mr Speaker, these are people who are based on recognised institutions and I am sure no President who wants to see to the development of a zone or region or areas within the zone would crowd such a serious body with party apparatchiks. Mr Speaker, Hon Richard M. Quashi- gah gave an indication that, in his considered opinion, he would want us to limit the Authorities to mere facilitators of the development agenda that they may craft. That is his opinion and nobody can fault him for that, except to point his attention to the fact that at the lower levels of governance, the bodies there are charged, not only with legislative functions, they are equally imbued with Executive responsibilities. Mr Speaker, as I said yesterday, this principle finds expression in article 245 of the 1992 Constitution, and with respect, I beg to read that for emphasis.
“Parliament shall, by law, prescribe the functions of District Assemblies which shall include— (a) the formulation and execution of plans, programmes and strategies for the effective mobilization of the resources necessary for the overall development of the district;” Mr Speaker, the Assemblies are charged with the functions of legislation and execution, and that is constitutional. So, for anybody to fault it, that it cannot be done, that argument cannot sit in the Constitution. Mr Speaker, other issues have been raised with the description of what constitutes the coast. As much as I agree with the concerns by Hon Quashigah, Hon Kpodo, and also by my good Friend, Hon Humado, if we are to describe the Coastal Development Authority Bill or the coastal belt to include the entirety of the Volta Region, and it has been said that we should rather choose Southern Development Authority, as the Hon Kpodo has shown, portions of the Volta Region, including Kete Krachi cannot be described as belonging to the south of the country. So, that will defeat that argument. Mr Speaker, indeed, the entirety of Ghana is described as a coastal country, but Tamale and Bolgatanga are not in the coast, yet, Ghana is described as a coastal country to the extent that we have a coastline. The country is bordered by the sea and that is why Ghana is described as a coastal country. It does not mean that Wa has coastal climate or in geographical terms, Wa can be described as a coastal city or coastal community. It is merely descriptive and we should understand that. Mr Speaker, there were some other issues raised by the Hon Humado, that is, the concern that the geographical spread of the Volta Region is different, and so it should, while looking at the Bill, take that into consideration. I believe it is a legitimate issue. From the point that I have raised, would anybody say that because portions of the Brong Ahafo Region juts into the Northern Region; there are tonnes of the Brong Ahafo Region in the north, so, Brong Ahafo Region should also be described as the northern belt? No! But there are some issues which have been raised by my Hon Colleague which are germane, especially -- [Interruption] -- Is Jasikan in the Northern Regions? Mr Speaker, the diversity of the coastal stretch from Aflao to Elubo, should be of paramount concern. What the Authority seeks to do is not to design, develop or formulate a one-size-fits-all strategy. These local variations would be taken care of by the strategies that have been formulated by the various development Authorities. I believe the issue that has been raised about the eastern portion of the coast being savannah and the west being semi- deciduous vegetation is absolutely right, except the Hon Member did not even add that the extreme west really is tropical rain forest. [Laughter.] -- Yes, Kofi, the extreme west is tropical rain forest and so, we should all be mindful of this. As you said, in formulating the strategies, I believe that --
Hon Majority Leader, do not address the Hon Member apparently personally.
Mr Speaker, I think he means well, but there is no one- size-fit-all strategy to be developed by the various authorities.
And in conclusion?
Mr Speaker, the issue that you raised about what to fall on --
Hon Majority Leader, if you would kindly conclude, so that some of these things can best be said at the Consideration Stage.
Mr Speaker, I will soon conclude. But at the Consideration Stage, we would not be debating --
We had an understanding among the two Leaders on the nature of business this morning.
Mr Speaker, I take that on board, except to say that, at the Consideration Stage, we would not be dealing with the principles any longer. We would deal with the clause by clause considerations.
Hon Member, except that it will then reflect on the clauses. And of course, all clause considerations are preceded by arguments. Hon Majority Leader, if you would kindly conclude.
Mr Speaker, finally, to the Hon Member who raised issues about the dichotomy between development, which is constituency based and development which is district based; I would not want to repeat what I said yesterday. I think article 253 of the Constitution is clear. District Assemblies are not the only vehicle for the development of the country, and people should understand that. Every now and then, people are drawing attention to the fact that District Assemblies are existing -- they are
existing. What will be done by these Authorities are only going to be complementary. Thye are not to take the position or the role of the District Assemblies; not at all. So, if people are saying that it is not clear in the law and they would want to make it visible, we can do that. But it is true that the Assemblies are the only vehicle for the development of the country. Mr Speaker, with these considerations, I would want to, once again, thank Hon Colleagues for the issues that they have raised. I believe when we come to the Consideration Stage, some of the issues that we have raised will affect the clause by clause consideration. Mr Speaker, I thank everybody for their input.
Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. At the conclusion of the debate --
Hon Minority Leader, do you have something to say?
Mr Speaker, I can appreciate that the Hon Minister who is sponsoring the Bill came in when the Hon Majority Leader had done much of the work. Next time, it would be appreciated if the Hon Minister is allowed to conclude. This vis because, as far as possible, there is an explanatory Memorandum which is a constitutional requirement signed by her. Therefore, she must share with us the policy principles and how she intends to drive them. Mr Speaker, today, for want of time, I am sure we can proceed to the Consideration Stage of the Northern Belt Development Bill that she will still be supporting. Thank you.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I believe it is important to set the records straight. During the Second Reading of the Bill, I indicated to all of us that the Hon Minister was caught up in a meeting elsewhere with the President. And she was visibly not in the Chamber when I moved the Motion. Mr Speaker, with respect, there is no value addition to what the Hon Minority Leader has said. He was not here and as far as this matter is concerned, he is a yesterday man. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Coastal Development Authority Bill, 2017 was accordingly read a Second time.
Hon Members, item numbered 7 -- Motion. Hon Majority Leader, are we ready to take item numbered 7 on the Order Paper?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, Motions listed as item numbered 7 and 8 will not be taken now. In fact, the Reports are not ready and we can move to item numbered 9 on the Order Paper and continue with the Con- sideration Stage of the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017.
Item numbered 9 on the Order Paper -- Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
Hon Chairman of the Committee, I am told that we reached clause 3.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3 opening phrase, line 1, delete “short-term and long-term” and insert “short to long term” So, the new rendition would be: “For the realisation of the short to long term plans, the Authority shall…” It then follows. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
It would be useful if the Hon Chairman of the Committee reads the whole rendition.
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would now be: “Functions of the Authority (3) For the realisation of the short to long term plans, the Authority shall; (a) design a comprehensive development strategy; (b) oversee application of the annual allocation…” It goes on.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee has moved an amendment standing in my name. Probably, if he has associated with it, better. Mine is just for elegance. We cannot use “short-term and long-term” in the introduction. Therefore, it should be “short and long term”. We cannot have “term” appear more than once. So, if it pleases the Hon Chairman of the Committee, I would gladly associate with him to move the clause and then we can get that done. It improves -- [Interruption.]. Short-term and long-term -- [Interruption.] He has done the better one. I am saying that, he should only associate with it. He should not have risen to move it. That is all. But he is good to go. He likes litigation. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, the amendment stands in the name of Hon Haruna Iddrisu but I mistakenly moved it and he associates with me. But I believe it further proposes that instead of a “short to long term”, we should make it “short and long term”. So, a further amendment is being proposed. It would read; “(3) For the realisation of the short and long term plans, the Authority shall;
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I would want to make a further proposal to delete “plans” in “short and long term plans” and insert “objects”. This is because, in clause 2, we talked about the “Object of the Authority” and now in clause 3, we are listing the functions that would enable the Authority to achieve the object set out in clause 2. [Pause.]
Hon Chairman of the Committee, your point -- [Interruption] -- Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I was going to persuade the Hon Chairman of the Committee that I believe my earlier rendition is right. It is “short to long term” because in between them are medium term plans and one anticipates that the Authority will perform this other function. So, it should read: “(3) For the realisation of the short to long term plans, the Authority shall. . .;” Mr Speaker, I have just heard the Hon Kpodo, and may I respectfully refer him to clause 3 (u). There is a provision to “perform any other function under this Act that are ancillary to the objects of the Authority”. So, even though we are saying that the Authority must immediately begin to work on short and medium term plans and pursue the following functions, that is still consistent with what we have already approved of as the objects of the Authority. Everything we do would be to the objects of the Authority. So, if he is minded, I will persuade him but, Mr Speaker, you may still encourage further debate since we want to improve the Bill. I believe that “short to long term plans” is apt and the Hon Kpodo may be persuaded to let it fly bearing in mind the position of clause 3(u) -- other functions ancillary to the objects of the Authority. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Other functions duly mentioned will cover whatever. Thank you. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, first, I will associate myself with the brief hesitation to rather insert “short to long term”. That then would include medium term plans. So, that is the first one. The second one that Hon Kpodo has related to is: ‘For the realisation of the short to long-term objects, the Authority shall…' Mr Speaker, I believe that it is most incongruous -- clause(1),‘The objects of the Authority; and clause (2) accelerates economic and social development in Northern Development Zone through strategic direction in the planning…' Mr Speaker, if we come to clause 3 (b),(c),(d), they all relate to planning, formulation of initiatives, co-ordination of strategic plans and so on. The centrality of the matter there is planning and so, Mr Speaker, there is nothing wrong, and I believe that the Hon Member may be persuaded to abandon the amendment that he wants to proffer, failing to do that, I would invite you to put the Question for us to move as fast as possible.
In fact, the Hon Member, in getting up, had indicated silently his abandonment. Hon Member, do you --
Mr Speaker, I am marrying the word ‘realisation' with what is to be realized. Are we realising plants or we are realizing objects or goals? That is why I suggest that we replace plants with the objects as set out in clause 2. Mr Speaker, because of the word ‘realised', if we are talking about plans, we might use the word, ‘implement' but here, it is realisation. That is how I am thinking in terms of objects or goals, instead of plans.
Mr Speaker, we could accommodate his concerns in a new rendition such as: ‘For the realisation of the short to long term plans and in the pursuit of the objects'
Mr Speaker, if we have a two-way stray, we may, and I am prepared to abandon mine and we do away with “short-term” and “long-term” and just say: “For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall…” Then that satisfies what Hon Kpodo wants and I would be pleased to abandon mine. Again, since the Hon Leader has hinted at the Authority engaged in planning, then we may say that: ‘For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall develop short to long term plans and...' Then we add the rest of the functions. We could refer it to the draftspersons of the Bill to improve it. Mr Speaker, Hon Kpodo has a point because we are not just looking at short and long term. Indeed, the object of my amendment was the use of “short-term” and “long-term”; that is; the tautology of “term” was what motivated this. So, I think that I would abandon mine and we take that of Hon Kpodo if the Hon Chairman of the Committee and Minister have no objection. And it should read: ‘For the realisaton of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall…' Then the rest flows and then Mr Speaker could put the Question on that.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, any objection?
Mr Speaker, I see the objects as clearly stated and then clause 3 talks about the functions of the Authority. It is not just the realisation of the plans, but it says: “…the Authority shall” do the following...
Hon Member, for clarity, sometimes, when a sentence is broken, whether by a colon or whatever, it helps to make the situation clear and that is exactly the formulation that I believe is the object of Hon Iddrisu's intervention.
Hon Haruna Iddrisu?
Hon Minority Leader, kindly repeat. Hon Chairman of the Committee, please, just listen.
Mr Speaker, clause 3, line 1; “For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall, …” Then the rest would follow. I accordingly submit.
‘For the realisation of the objectives of the Authority', it shall, and then whatever it is, follows. Any further difficulty or you associate yourselves with the fresh amendment?
Mr Speaker, I would associate with what the Hon Minority Leader has suggested. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause 3, paragraph (c), line 1, delete “and institutions”
So that it would read?
Mr Speaker, the new rendition would be; ‘For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall' (c) “establish structure and institutions for the effective implementation of the comprehensive development strategy;”
Hon Member, how does that sound?
Mr Speaker, I share the view of the Hon Chairman of the Committee. This is because the Authority would rather co-operate and collaborate with the existing institutions. But I was wondering whether he would not want to give us the mandate to create departments to the Authority. If that was the case, I know that it is there in the provisions but to add it to the functions of the Authority, we substitute “institutions” with departments, so that along the line, we would know that the Authority will have the mandate to establish structures and departments. Even though there is a provision, I think that clause 17, and if I have your indulgence. “The Board may, on the recommendation of the Chief Executive Officer, establish departments of the Authority…” Mr Speaker, so, we are giving that power to the Board and if we want that for the effective implementation of the objects, we may want to substitute “institutions” with departments. I agree that “institutions” be deleted. So, I associate myself with it and so, Mr Speaker, you could put the Question. Then we would have “structures”
Mr Speaker, I think that the Question is, what are “structures” and what are “institutions”? When we talk about “structures”, are we talking about physical structures or structures in terms of institutions, organisations? If we want to take out institutions, is it because it is a repetition or do we have a clear distinction between structures and institutions? And it is structures that we want but not institutions. My understanding is that structures are in the way of smaller institutions that can be vehicles for the implementation of our objects and the carrying out of our functions. So, in a sense, they are also institutions. And the question is whether we want to vest them with the power on their own to create institutions. Do we normally do that? To create an authority and give it the power to create substructures under it? Is it by a Legislative Instrument, or how would they go about creating those institutions? So, I think there should be some explanation as to what “structures” are and what “institutions” are. Mr Speaker, this is because, in the first place, I do not even think they should have the capacity to create institutions or structures. If they have, would it be by legislation? If it is not by legislation, what kind of institutions are we talking about? Mr Speaker, this is my main concern, but on the previous issue, just for the records --
Please, at the Consideration Stage, do not bring confusion. If you would want something else, let us deal with this, then we proceed. I think it is a valid point. We are in a situation whereby the Authority so created by law would now be delegating some power given to it to another. Then, the person to whom something has been delegated, if we were to go by the strict words, would not also be able to delegate further. The law would not allow that to happen. There is this basic principle; delegatus non potest delegare, to wit, a person who has a delegated authority cannot also delegate further and nobody knows where it would reach. Therefore, we must be very careful about that. I believe it is a point worth considering by the House.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Committee is recommending the deletion of “and institutions” in paragraph (c) because in paragraph (n), there is provision for the Authority to cooperate with institutions, including the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other entities to ensure conformity with the national development plan to avoid the duplication of functions. So, there is clear provision for cooperation with the institutions to propel the development agenda of the Authority. That is why we are calling for the deletion of “and institutions” in paragraph (c). But any authority could create any structure, and not institutions.
Mr Speaker, to persuade Hon Ayariga to fall in line, assuming the Northen Development Authority decides to create a private sector bureau since somewhere along the line, we have said they should encourage private resource mobilisation and private investment, they could create a bureau for public private partnership. That is a structure and not an institution. And like the Hon Leader has said, the word “institution” is referred to in paragraph (n). So, the Hon Chairman is seeking to delete “institutions” and allow the authority to be able to create structures that would allow them achieve the objects of it.
So, with regard to structures, I believe the Hon Ayariga should be able to fly. It is not institutions. So, he is seeking the deletion of “institutions”.
Hon Minority Leader, it is not institutions but structures. And a structure could be quite embracing, so that what you could not even think of now, you could provide for it in the future by that expression “structure”. So, Hon Ayariga?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. In that case, I believe it would be appropriate at this stage that we recommend that when we get to the interpretation clauses, we should have an interpretation of “structures”. Otherwise, if at this stage, I am wondering whether or not an institution is not a structure, I am sure that tomorrow, whoever is the Chief Executive would go on the frolic of his own and create clearly institutions and sub-agencies and say it is a structure and it would be difficult for anyone to take him on. So, it would be good for us to have an interpretation of “structures” and know that structures do not include institutions.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, if we overstretch the argument, we might have to interpret every single word that appears in any Bill. Look at paragraph 3 (a); design a comprehensive development strategy. What is the meaning of “design”? It lends itself to several interpretations. Do we need to define “design”? Paragraph 3 (b): “oversee the application of the annual allocation …”. What is the meaning of “oversee”? Mr Speaker, it lends itself to several interpretations, and in ordinary usage, everybody should understand this. Otherwise, every single one that would appear in the Bill should have to be interpreted. Hon Ayariga, I believe you understand the point I have made.
You are not addressing Hon Ayariga. [Laughter.] I must say that I am not comfortable with that approach. I plead you should make your contribution.
Mr Speaker, sometimes, I look at the face of some of my Hon Colleagues, and I believe that when I --
Hon Majority Leader, please, do not move into that --
Mr Speaker, I appreciate the point.
It might lead us into traps.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member would appreciate the point that I have made. Thank you very much.
I do not have the opportunity to ask him. So, I would have the opportunity to say what I think is good. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I was waiting for Hon Ayariga to withdraw his proposed amendment.
Hon Ayariga only said we could add interpretation.
Mr Speaker, I proposed an amendment, that the words “and institutions” be deleted so that the new rendition would be: “For the realisation of the objects of the Authority, the Authority shall; (c) establish structures for the effective implementation of the comprehensive development strategy;” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, we have an important issue to discuss with the Executive. We shall therefore suspend Sitting for half an hour. The Hon Majority Leader and the Hon Minority Leader would be part of this meeting. We shall come back at 3.15 p.m. to continue this important Business. Sitting is suspended. We shall resume at 3.15 p.m. while the Leaders and I have that particular meeting. Thank you very much, Hon Members. 2.50 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 4.55 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, we are still on clause 3.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (h), line 1, delete “execute identified” and insert “ensure the execution of”.
Mr Speaker, there is a further minor amendment to the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Mr Speaker, instead of saying “ensure”, I would want to propose that we delete “ensure” and insert “facilitate the execution”. Mr Speaker, “ensure” is too lame a word in the circumstance. The Authority's business is purpose driven so they must “facilitate” the execution of relevant projects. Thank you.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I believe it is a better rendition. I would admit that. So, the new rendition would be: “facilitate the execution of relevant projects in a community in the Northern Development Zone that will stimulate the modernisation of agricultural development and competitiveness of small scale farmers through irrigation, improve technology and promote efficiency for the domestic and export market;”
Mr Speaker, the purpose of this facilitation is to stimulate the modernisation of agricultural development and competitiveness. So, in line 1 of the original Bill, page 5, instead of saying “... that will stimulate”, I would propose that we delete the words “that will” and insert “to” so as to read: “to facilitate the execution of relevant projects in a community in the Northern Development Zone to stimulate the modernisation of agricultural development and competitiveness of small scale farmers through irrigation, improve technology and promote efficiency for the domestic and export market;”
Mr Speaker, the original rendition was “execute”; it is purposeful. It is expected of the agency to carry that out. Mr Speaker, at the Committee, we thought that to give the agency that role of execution, it places a higher emphasis on execution, and that was the reason we said “ensure”. I would think “ensure” is stronger than “facilitate” in terms of the delivery. If we say “facilitate”, it means if no other actor comes up, then the Authority may not necessarily have anything to do. But if we say “ensure”, it still gives the Authority the option of directly carrying it out if no other organisation does.
So, “to ensure” is therefore more comprehensive in the circumstances. In fact, on the whole, the facilitator normally does not carry the ultimate responsibility. If I have finished facilitating, then I have finished with my job. But if I am to ensure, I have to ensure. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I would take a cue from you and propose that the new rendition should be: “ensure the execution of relevant projects in the community in the Northern Development Zone…”.
Any objections? Question put and amendment agreed to. The next amendment which is clause 3 (iv) stands in the name of the Hon Haruna Iddrisu, the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause 3, paragraph (i), at end, add “including public private partnerships”
“facilitate private sector development initiatives including public private partnerships”. Mr Speaker, so that it will be all encompassing. I know that there is a Government policy on public private partnership. I also do know that there is a Bill on it which is being worked, and I also know that even our donors were supporting some reforms within that particular sector. But if we just leave it at “private sector development initiatives”, what if the partnership is jointed tomorrow? Then there would be a difficulty. So we expand it to include “public private partnership” and then it makes the marriage better.
So, we can easily say public or private and public-private, so that we do not go -- do you get the point? Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, this is a public sector organisation, so, if I say “facilitate private sector development initiatives”, it does not exclude public- private partnerships (PPP) because it is a public sector organisation. Secondly, the Hon Minority Leader says that there is a public private partnership policy and there may be a Bill; I do not think so. Maybe, the previous Government had a policy but the Bill never came to Parliament. So, I do not know whether in his mind, there exists a public sector draft Bill that he is anticipating. He should not anticipate that. It does not exist. It was never laid in Parliament and I have not seen it. I believe it is all right this way; it is superfluous to add public-private partnership. If the Bill comes, it would take care of all of that. But I think adding “including” is superfluous.
Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt, if we added what the Hon Minority Leader said, then it would not detract from the principle, except to observe that, his concerns have been captured under paragraph (“o”) -- public private partnership initiatives. Mr Speaker, it is covered there. So, we would not need that addition there, otherwise, it would render paragraph “(o)” useless.
That capturing is subsequent. Is that not so? Therefore, if the omnibus one is brought earlier, then we are covered. When we have a wider dimension, we do not provide for the narrow dimension, then go ahead and provide for the bigger dimension. Therefore, if we do it in an omnibus manner right now, then we would know exactly what we are looking for.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, if we should bring it to paragraph (i), it would render what exists in paragraph (o) superfluous. It is about the same thing, and there is a purpose for that. Mr Speaker, whereas I appreciate the principle that the Hon Minority Leader is espousing, what he said is captured in paragraph (o) and I believe that it is much more explicit even in paragraph (o), but the principle is well appreciated, so, we can go on without --
So, we could repeat it or provide it only from the beginning.
Mr Speaker, it is not the beginning. Mr Speaker, respectfully, these are separate functions being listed, and I am saying that if we join that one up in paragraph (i), then we would not need it in paragraph (o) again. It is for emphasis - it is in paragraph (o), and in paragraph (o), if we look at the construction, the Committee is proposing an amendment, and if the Hon Minority Leader is listening to me, then he would appreciate the point that I am making. Mr Speaker, the Committee is proposing an amendment to the construct in paragraph (o), so, if we look at what the Committee is doing, then it would serve the purpose that we are proposing in paragraph (i).
Mr Speaker, I take a cue from you, and I believe my Hon Colleague should. In paragraph (i), it reads as follows: “facilitate private sector development initiatives”. That is provided. Mr Speaker, even though the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation attempted to deride my reference to public private partnership, it is now in paragraph (o), so, I could not be wrong.
Hon Minority Leader, have you finished? Have you landed?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I believe that my Hon good Friend is completely wrong. Mr Speaker, paragraph (i) stands on its own. It does not intend to include PPP. It does not. Paragraph (o) is now meant to bring in specifically, PPP, so, if we add it there, we would make paragraph (o) redundant. Mr Speaker, it is important to separate pushing purely private, and then come to public private. That is the issue, so paragraph (i) is specific. Mr Speaker, with respect, if we add what he said in paragraph (i), we would defeat the purpose. They ought to be allowed to push purely private sector initiatives, and in paragraph (o), to do a (PPP) to separate it.
Mr Speaker, I can live in both worlds, but at least, his argument now has changed, as compared to a while ago, when he would have pretended that there is no PPP in Government. Mr Speaker, we are before Parliament, so, how can I trust that in evaluating Ministries tomorrow, the Hon Member would not tell me that he cannot find the Minister for public private partnership under finance? Mr Speaker, I therefore make peace that paragraph (i) can stand. My attention has been drawn to paragraph (o), but when we get to paragraph (o), we would improve it. They must also accept that there is PPP being driven by donor money which they are happily spending, but do not want to admit that they have it.
Mr Speaker, my Hon good Friend has been out of Government. So, perhaps, he does not know what is happening. I would want to educate him. Mr Speaker, as I speak, this Government has asked the Hon Minister for Finance to come back for us to see if we would want to continue with that policy. They have not adopted it. Mr Speaker, the fact that we have the World Bank's money does not mean that we would have to take it. We do not take it because it is World Bank money. What I am trying to tell the Hon Minority Leader is that, legally, there is nothing like that. Mr Speaker, because their Government had a Minister for PPP -- We do not, so the Government is looking at it to see if we would want to adopt it and come out with a draft. Mr Speaker, it is under consideration, so he cannot assume it exists. It does not exist.
Mr Speaker, to that extent, we would move on to the next --
No, we have not finished. We would want to ensure what the final rendition is at this stage.
Mr Speaker, I would let the Hon Minority Leader withdraw.
Mr Speaker, with your leave, I would withdraw the amendment proposed to add “including public private partnership”.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (m), line 3, after “Agencies” insert “Regional Co- ordinating Councils,”.
“Co-operate with key statutory institutions including the National Development Planning Commission, Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Regional Coordinating Councils, District Assemblies and other entities to ensure conformity with the national development plan to avoid duplication of functions”. Mr Speaker, we realised that in the Bill, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was not mentioned, and it is a key player when the Authority has to cooperate with the existing structures. That is why we seek to add the “Regional Coordinating Council”. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I support the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman, but there are two things. First, subclause (m) provides: and with your permission I quote; “co-operate with key statutory institutions including the National Development Planning Commission ...” Mr Speaker, I believe that should stand alone because the MDAs are not institutions. So, we should have a semi colon after the “National Development Planning Commission” so that the others, “Ministries, Departments, Agencies, District Assemblies and other entities” then would be freed from the realm of institutions. The last line, if the Hon Chairman is listening to me, is “to ensure conformity with the National Development Plan”. We should introduce “and” between “plan” and “to”. So, it should be, “and to avoid duplication of functions.” A semi-colon, “and to avoid duplication of functions”. Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman would agree with me, “and” is inserted between “plan” and “to” and then the second line, it should not be a comma after “Commission” but a semi-colon. This is because the others are not institutions.
Yes, any other contribution?
Mr Speaker, I support the Hon Chairman's amendment, but with the Hon Majority Leader 's further amendment, he should re-examine it. Statutory institutions -- MDAs are statutory institutions. -- [Interruption.] No, they are statutory institutions; they are established by law. District Assemblies are established by law unless he wants to say there is a difference between “a statutory body” and “a statutory institution”. Once we say “statutory”, it is legal. To add “and to avoid duplication of functions”. Should we even add that to a law? I would think that it would be neater if those words were deleted. We do not need to add “to avoid duplication of functions”. Mr Speaker, I support the Hon Chairman. I disagreed with the Hon Leader when he tried to say that, MDAs are bodies. This is because MDAs are statutory -- [Interruption] Yes. Mr Speaker, tomorrow, I will provide the authority. Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader wants a distinction between “statutory institution” and “statutory body”. Are Ministries and District Assemblies not established by law? The Hon Chairman is right. The words, “to avoid duplication of functions” is not necessary so we should support the Hon Chairman but delete those words. Mr Speaker, you probably can put the Question on it.
Thank you, Mr Speaker --
No, I have not called you, Hon Member. Hon Dr Akoto Osei?
Mr Speaker, I just asked the Hon Chairman,. but I do not think the initial amendment is necessary because it says “including”. He said the RCC seems to have been left out. There are several of them and he did not need to add it. He being the Hon Chairman, I would agree to it. I would want to support the Hon Minority Leader if the Hon Chairman would agree that we delete the phrase “and to avoid the duplication of functions” at the end. I do not think it is important. The “conformity to the national plan” is what we look for but not the duplication. We would think that people in doing their work are supposed to do the right things and not duplicate so we do not need it in the law.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, I disagree with both the Hon Minority Leader and the Hon Minister for Planning and Evaluation. This is because, at the Committee level -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, on a point of order. There is no Hon Minister for Planning and Evaluation. Who is he referring to? I am not the Hon Minister for Planning and Evaluation.
So, why would you ascribe it to yourself? [Laughter.]
It is because you are misleading the House.
If you could kindly help us with the right rendition.
Mr Speaker, because my Hon Colleague is not effectively monitoring and evaluating, he jumped into it when I was on my feet.
Hon Member, you would not go into that area.
Mr Speaker, the issue why that last strand is necessary is because, at the Committee level, there was a struggle. Hon Members insisted that this would duplicate the work of the District Assemblies. That is why for the avoidance of doubt, it is important to have this.
You will not face the Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, it is only because he has not been part of the Consideration Stage.
It is not directed at him. You direct it at me.
Mr Speaker, sometimes, eyeball to eyeball settles matters.
Hon Majority Leader, let us make progress. Face me and speak.
Mr Speaker, I will look at you.
Mr Speaker, the point being made is that, at the Committee level, initially, there was profound disagreement and Hon Members felt that this whole exercise of introducing the Northern Development Authority is to duplicate what otherwise should be done by the District Assemblies. That is why I say that, for the avoidance of doubt, if we have that, it would not kill a fly, but anybody at all would be very clear in his or her mind that, the law sets out to avoid duplication of functions, efforts and indeed activities. Mr Speaker, I believe that it is necessary to have it, given the antecedence of the discussions that have gone on in this Chamber that we should have that.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the District Assemblies, the Northern Development Authority can have some overlapping in one place or the other, but it does not therefore mean that we need to belabour the point whether these would do the work of the District Assemblies. In fact, it does not even arise for anybody to make an argument over. So, let us continue. It is to be assumed and we all know the District Assemblies also have development functions. So, I believe that would put an end to that presumption which has nothing to do with the essence of this Bill. 5. 25 p. m. Dr Kwabena Donkor, the last contribution and then I would come to —
Mr Speaker, when we met as a Committee, it was realised that, under the decentralisation policy and also as anchored by the enabling Act of the District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies, the Regional Coordinating Council had a coordinating function specifically mentioned under the Act, but we realised that this one was silent. That was why the amendment was proposed. Therefore, the Committee felt strongly that the amendment should stand, so that function already established by law is also recognised under this law. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you. Hon Chairman of the Committee, please, put to bear your rendition.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Having listened to the Hon Minority Leader and the Hon Majority Leader —
Hon Members, we are ending this at 6.00 p.m. Let us be economical and straight to the point.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to see if this proposal would assimilate all the concerns. The new rendition with clause 3 (m) would read as follows: “Cooperate with key statutory institutions including the National Development Planning Commission, Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Regional Coordinating Councils, District Assemblies and other entities to ensure conformity with the National Development Plan and to avoid duplication of functions.” Thank you. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Minority Leader, the next one stands in your name. Let us move them with dispatch so that we would close at 6.00 p. m.
Mr Speaker, given that I had to abandon the amendment on clause 3 (i), with paragraph (o), I have noted that the Hon Chairman too has the same issue at least, on “facilitate”. So, I would allow him to move that, I would support it, and then I would join the second part of mine to see if it makes the rendition elegant.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
So, Hon Chairman, move it, I would fine-tune it with the Hon Majority Leader, then Mr Speaker can put the Question. On “facilitate”, we are ad idem with you on that.
Hon Chairman of Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (o), line 1, delete “serve as an agent of the Government in” and insert “facilitate”. So, the new rendition would read: “…facilitate private partnership initiatives in the Northern Development Zone and initiate public-private partnership directly in the Northern Development Zone.”
Hon Dr A. A. Osei?
Mr Speaker, I want to urge the Hon Chairman to abandon his amendment. The first part is for a purpose. They are being named as the only agents. Nobody else. It is not just to facilitate, they are identified as the agent that would serve Government and then —
Not “only agent”.
So, if we say delete “‘serve as an agent”, we have defeated the purpose. It becomes ambiguous who is the agent. The Bill wants only them to do that; nobody else. So, we need that first part to serve as an agent, and the initiatives — I would agree with Hon Haruna Iddrisu, and say, “facilitate”. To name them as an agent is crucial. Nobody else should play that role except them. If we just say: “facilitate”, who is the agent? We do not want somebody else to come up and say ‘I am the agent'. We want the Authority to be the agent to facilitate that. That is the purpose. So, I would urge the Hon Chairman to abandon his amendment.
Hon Dr Donkor?
Mr Speaker, I disagree with the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation. In coming to this conclusion, we took notice of the fact that, some publicly owned, organisations are also commercial entities. If, for example, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO), which is 100 per cent publicly owned but a commercial organisation, goes into partnership with a private sector organisation to develop a solar farm in the zone, are we saying that the Authority should be the agent? No. So, we created the facilitation to enable all sorts of scenarios to play. Where the Authority directly partners a private sector practitioner, then the Authority could become the agent. Where another State entity partners a private sector entity, we cannot say the Authority should be the agent of Government.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, as noted in page 4 of the Order Paper, I initially had also served notice of an amendment to insert “facilitate'' and delete “initiate''. Mr Speaker, I also disagree with the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation on two counts. One, we have reminded him even to be mindful of the word ‘‘only''. This is because District Assemblies, today in market development, have entered into Public Private Partnership (PPP). [Interruptions.] No, he used the word ‘only' and I recall the Rt Hon Speaker cautioned that he should not use ‘‘only'' because ‘‘it'' is not attributable to this Authority. Mr Speaker, the second disagreement is that when we came to clause 3 (i), he led a good argument that we must distinguish between private sector independent initiatives, and that there would be PPP initiatives. If that is the case, then the Hon Chairman is right. The particular subclause (o), which the Hon Majority Leader referred to is to say that, this Authority shall facilitate PPP initiatives. In doing so, we do not need to state that it would be an agent for the Government. How will they facilitate it? They would end up in a contractual arrangement. So, I think the Hon Chairman is right. Consistent with why I abandoned my amendment for subclause (i), we said that the Northern Development Authority shall initiate PPP in the Northern Development Zone and initiate public-private initiatives directly in the Northern Development Zone. Then we have dealt with private sector initiatives that stand alone. We expect it to play a role in PPP initiatives. So, I wholeheartedly support the Hon Chairman and think that we should support him. It is right; we do not need to say that it is to serve as an agent of Government. No. By facilitating, naturally, it would end through a process, which would have the relationship between two partners. Mr Speaker, I think that we should support it. So, we delete “serve as an agent of Government aid”, then insert “facilitate”. Mr Speaker, I so associate myself with the Chair.
Mr Speaker, we have to be careful. The words there are “serve as an agent” and not “the only agent”. So, what is the trouble with that? It is not “the only agent”. There could be several agents like he listed.
Mr Speaker, thank you for correcting me. I had to go back to look at it and then when he mentioned Northern Electricity Development Company (NEDCO), I got the point I wanted to make earlier. I think that serving as an agent is very important. It is not the only agent, but it needs to be given the role to serve as an agent to facilitate public- private sector partnership. I am sorry.
Mr Speaker, I think that it is important that we have the role of an Agency for the Development Authority. This is captured in the Memorandum, which provides in paragraph 3, that the Authority “will be the primary agency”. Agency of what? Of Government. I believe that it is important that we have it there: “serve as an agent of the Government in…”, not “…the only agent of the Government in public private partnership initiatives in the Northern Development Zone and initiate public private partnerships directly in the Northern Development Zone;” Mr Speaker, I think that this is more or less a repetition -- “serve as an agent”, and also “initiate public private partnership initiatives directly”. I do not know whether we could conjoin the two in a better way. That is to: “serve as an agent of the Government in facilitating public private partnership initiatives in the Norther Development Zone” Then we stop there.
Mr Speaker, if I get the sense from the Hon Majority Leader, then clause 3 (o), as we have it in the Bill on page 5, should stay as it is. We would only substitute in the third line, “initiate” with “facilitate”; then it makes a better rendition. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3 (o), line 3, delete “initiate” and insert “facilitate”. The new rendition would read: “serve as an agent of the Government in public private partnership initiatives in the Northern Development Zone and facilitate public private partnerships directly…” It resolves the issue. It still remains a primary agent. If I were to respond directly to the Hon Majority Leader, “primary agency for implementing the infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme” -- that is what the Memorandum said. If he were here, he would have said the Memorandum is only a guide. It still remains a guide. It is to guide. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (p), line 2, after “targets” insert “are met” and also delete “met” and insert “achieved”.
The new rendition would read: “establish a system of monitoring and evaluation to ensure that strategic targets are met and results are achieved in a timely and appropriate manner.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, in paragraph (q), there is a consequential amendment that should be effected. I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (q), line 3, delete “and” and insert “to”. The new rendition would read: “co-ordinate the planning and implementation of integrated development activities for the realisation of the short-term to long- term plans”. This would include medium term plans. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (r), delete This is taken care of by clause 1 (3).
Mr Speaker, our rules provide that the Chairman should lead us with an explanation as to why he wants to delete clause 3, paragraph (r). There is historical fact that in many instances where the right to compulsory acquisition has been exercised, the State institutions have failed to pay compensation. So, if this is provided for in order to make the Authority active, what is wrong with it? Mr Speaker, our own Trade Fair Centre is a good example. When I became the Minister for Trade and Industry, it was when some investors wanted to develop it, but the La Mantse drew my attention to the fact that Government never paid compensation. It means that if it is provided for here, the fact that one has said that one could exercise the right for compulsory acquisition does not mean one would behave that way. No, he said course bond; yet he said, “ensure the payment of compensation”. Mr Speaker, I think that the Hon Chairman of the Committee should leave it as it is for two reasons. It allows them to budget -- when they are budgeting, the Authority would know that they have compensations for lands that they have not paid for, so that they would make room for it. If it is removed, tomorrow, they would just exercise the power and say that the law gave them the right to compulsorily acquire, like we have done in many instances. Mr Speaker, I am also aware that, many stools and skins have written to the Government to complain that all these lands were acquired without compensation, and we do not want to encourage that going forward. Mr Speaker, I do not see anything wrong -- clause 3, paragraph (r), does not cause any harm, so, it should be left as it is. If the Authority acquires land, they should pay compensation for it.
The right to compensation is clearly provided for in the Constitution. A provision here, in conformity with that constitutional right of Ghanaians, is tantamount to a lot of fish that would not spoil the soup. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, the explanation I had wanted to offer to the Hon Minority Leader's proposal was that, if we look at clause 1 (3), and with your permission, I beg to quote: “Where there is hindrance to the acquisition of property, the property may be acquired for the Authority under the State Lands Act, 1962 (Act 125)…” Now we have added: “…the State's Property and Contracts Act (960) C.A 4". Mr Speaker, the Committee was of the view that the process of acquiring property under these legislations is inclusive of compensations, and that was why we did not want to duplicate the payment of compensation because that has already been taken care of by a law. When people do not pay the compensation, it means that they do not comply with the law, and they could be sent to court under the appropriate Act for the compensation to be paid. We do not need to actually legislate on this -- then in every law, we would have to state that. I believe it is superfluous because it is already in the existing law.
Yes, Hon Donkor?
Mr Speaker, I would humbly suggest that we leave the clause as it is. If we look at clause 1 (3), which was ably quoted by the Hon Chairman of the Committee, it only says, and with your permission, I beg to quote: “… and the cost shall be borne by the Authority”. Mr Speaker, the cost of acquisition here was not defined. It could be the cost of legal documentation, but clause 3 paragraph (r) is so categorical about compensation and leaves no room for doubt. So, why do we not just leave it? Particularly, in the light of our history, Governments across time have compulsorily acquired land, in particular, and have not paid. Mr Speaker, I would want to plead that clause 3, paragraph (r) be left as it is.
Yes, Hon Dr A. A. Osei?
Mr Speaker, I am surprised the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee has accepted -- I know he has the right to change his mind, but with the argument he adduced, he suggests that from now on, every legislation --
Hon Member, the Hon Ranking Member talked on his feet as an Hon Member of the House at Consideration Stage. He is entitled to change his mind upon superior argument.
Mr Speaker, he said that because past governments did not pay compensation, we should put this statement in this law -- how could this be an argument? Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee has ably said that what has been suggested has already been captured in clause 1 (3). The word “cost”
Hon Member, kindly read in its entirety the clause which makes this apparently superfluous. In other words, compensation has been provided for already. Hon Dr A. A. Osei, is that your argument?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
If that is so, kindly read to us that provision, so that we would examine it again and be clear in our minds.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman read clause 1 (3) as an amendment. [Pause] --
Mr Speaker, I believe we should be very careful with what we are doing. I agree entirely with what the Committee proposed; calling for the deletion of clause 3, paragraph (r).
“Where there is hindrance to the acquisition of property, the property may be acquired for the Authority under the State Lands Act, 1962 (Act 125)…” In our collective wisdom, we have added: “... and the State Property and Contract Act, 1960 (C.A 4) and the cost shall be borne by the Authority”. Mr Speaker, which cost are we talking about? It is not only compensation for the land, but it may involve other costs including even resettling inhabitants who were on the land. Where has that provision been made? The cost is all inclusive. Otherwise, we may have to add the language of the Constitution which provides in article 20 (2) (a), and with your permission, I beg to quote: 20(2) Compulsory acquisition of property by the State shall only be made under a law which makes provision for
Hon Majority Leader, is it not very common in this Honourable House that where the Constitution provides for something that is contemplated, we often rather prefer, for the avoidance of doubt, to go to the language of the Constitution and quote that seriatim as has been shown in many of the laws that have been passed in this House? Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker --
Hon Minority Leader, I would want the Hon Majority Leader to assist in this process if that would help.
Mr Speaker, I said that in that case, we could subject clause 1 (3) to article 20 of the Constitution, and that would rest it.
Exactly. In fact, this is exactly what the draftspersons have often recommended for application in this Honourable House for several years. Hon Majority Leader, I would be glad if you would confirm that, so that we all just know that is the practice of this House; then we would have no difficulty. This is because, generally speaking, you cannot pick and choose from constitutional provisions, lest you may find yourself in a difficulty. So, apply the constitutional language because that confers a fundamental right on Ghanaians. When you come to law, words like “cost” could be a very nebulous misinterpretation of rights. So, let us quote that if we can.
Mr Speaker, I would therefore propose that we go by — I do not know whether we would have
My guidance is clear, but the House may —
Mr Speaker, that would not be elegant enough. Mr Speaker, we are guided by the rules of interpretation that the headnote conveys a message. What is the headnote here? I refer to the original headnote of clause 3, which says: “Functions of the Authority”. Mr Speaker, even if we are to refer him to clause 1, it was; “Establishment of the Authority”, which includes acquisition of lands. So, if we come to clause 3(r), in particular, it simply imposes an obligation on the Authority, that as part of their functions, they should pay compensation; nothing more. There is nothing wrong with it. Mr Speaker, in clause 1, we exercise the right under article 20 to compulsorily acquire, but when we acquire; we should
Mr Speaker, I support it if the Constitution says we should pay compensation. Mr Speaker, but to suggest that a development agency should be given a function of paying compensation is almost absurd. It is not their job to ensure that. That could even detract it from its main purpose. Mr Speaker, more importantly, if we put this function there, I can assure the House that it would provide incentives for people to go there and look for compensation. It is a trap. Mr Speaker, it is already provided for under clause 1(3) as amended. It would have been alright if it were not provided for, but it is already provided for. To make it a specific function of a development Agency — it is absurd, and we should be very careful not to invite people to begin to say that, that is why the Agency is set up. It would not be very good and we should be very careful.
Mr Speaker, I believe you should put the Question on this if we cannot agree. I agree with the Hon Chairman of the Committee that we should delete this. Mr Speaker, even with the further embellishment that we provide, to employ the language of the Constitution, it is not within the remit of the Authority to establish what is fair and adequate compensation. That is for the Lands Commission and not for the Authority to determine. So, we should not overburden the Authority yet to be born. Mr Speaker, clause 1(3), in my view, is adequate to reflect what is provided for in article 20(2) and 20(3) of the Constitution. Indeed, we should delete clause 3(r) —
Hon Members, I will put the Question for the last time. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, I believe that is the last. [Interruption.] Order! Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (s), delete
Any views that the proposed amendment is deleted?.
Mr Speaker, I would rather propose that the entire paragraph ‘s' be deleted because that is already taken care of by subclause ‘o'.
Are you saying that the entire clause be deleted? Hon Chairman, are you with me?
Mr Speaker, I so submit that paragraph ‘s' be deleted. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 3 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Hon Members, at this juncture, we would continue tomorrow. For now, that brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage. So, we can take any other matters. If there is no other matter, we would continue tomorrow. Tomorrow, we shall suspend other Business and then go on with this immediately. I trust Hon Members would understand that we amend Order of Business and go quickly to further consideration and there would be nothing like wanting to go back to Questions or other matters. Hon Members, this brings us to the close for today. The House will stand adjourned till tomorrow at 12.00 noon. I thank you very much.
The House was adjourned at 6.10 p.m. till Thursday, 12th October, 2017 at 12.00 noon.